Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why It's Not "UnChristian" To Be Open On Christmas Day And Thanksgiving

I can't tell you how many versions of "Don't Shop at ...." I see during this time of year. Stores are labeled pro or against Christmas, like in the recently published AFA Naughty or Nice list

People put up snotty status memes like this one:

Or this one is even better...

Makes me want to remind them about the holi-day our Lord, a practicing Jew, celebrated during this time of year---Hanukkah. Heard of it? Besides the fact that it makes sense for a business to buy a Happy Holidays banner that will suffice from Nov. 1-Jan. 2, this arrogant point of view also shows off your ignorance, since Christmas was a man-made holiday that came way after Jesus. I don't think he really cares one way or another if or how we celebrate it. (Yes, I celebrate. No, I don't want to have this discussion.)

But the thing that just makes me want to smack y'all upside the head is when you tell me you're going to actually boycott a store because it's open on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Are you kidding me?

"Oh, but those poor single moms should be home with their poor kids who have to be in school all week long and they should at least get Christmas together, for crying out loud!"

Really? No, actually it's called, doing what you have to do. Or, more plainly, having character and integrity.

Ok, so I'm sure there are tons of people, who work for companies that require them to work on a holiday, who are pretty put out about the whole thing. In fact, I bet every single one of them wishes they could be home with their families for Christmas Day. 

You know, because that's what normal families do.

You know what else probably goes through their minds? They're probably thanking God they have a job. They're probably thanking God they might be able to provide for some or all of their family's celebration that year. They're probably thanking God they're doing better than they did last year. Maybe they know their willingness to work hard, even when it hurts, will show their employers that they're committed to the job and they'll be put up for a promotion? 

Many companies offer time and a half, or even double time and a half, for employees who will work the holiday. Maybe that's the make it or break it day that will push their paychecks up just enough to be able to make their family celebration meaningful. Because they're making their own family traditions...a normal for them that is, frankly, none of your business.

Last Thanksgiving morning, my husband was home for the day, enjoying his paid holiday with his children. As they all giggled and played in the living room, I worked in the kitchen preparing a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner---more food than we could even fit on our table. I realized I'd forgotten to get something, and headed to Walmart. I felt a little guilty "making" the cashier ring me up, even though she had to be there anyway. As I reached for my change, I told her thank you for working that day. I told her how much I appreciated the store being open so I could finish what I was working on. 

That woman didn't see me as some snob who was rubbing it in her face that I got to be normal and she didn't. She smiled big and told me how much she appreciated that I said that. I'd made her feel valued in the midst of hundreds of other shoppers also rushing through to get back to the kitchen. Her family was preparing the dinner and she was going home later that afternoon to enjoy it with them. This was her normal.

This Thanksgiving, I might just head down to Walmart for the fun of it. Just to tell one of them thanks for doing hard things. Here's a new status meme for you...I dare you.


  1. I love your attitude and wonderful loving way of expressing your love for God! Happy Holidays to you!

  2. I'm so happy to see someone else who is sick of seeing this junk. I don't get my kid on Christmas - it's her father's year - so if I want to shop, I dang well will. And my husband? He has to fly to see us on holidays (or vice versa). I don't see anyone boycotting airlines, airports, gas station attendants, or any other place that's open on holidays that people use. It is so hypocritical. "Close - unless I need gas or cigarettes or to fly somewhere. Then you'd better be open!"

  3. Excellent, so we'll said :)))) Thankyou for writing this.

  4. SARAH!!!!


    As a full time working NURSE, I have had to work either the EVE or the DAY of EVERY Holiday ever since I started night shift , 32 years ago. On Night Shift in a Hospital which by the way does not get to close for a Holiday, to be fair to all night shift workers, you either work the EVE or the Day night of every Holiday. In 32 years, except for maternity leave, I have never had an entire Holiday off. I either am coming home in the morning of the Holiday after working all night or I am going to work for 11pm the night of the Holiday.
    Since I have done this since my sons were born, it is our "NORMAL" Holiday . I have EVERY holiday dinner or meal here whether it be Christmas dinner or a 4th of July Cook Out. We just plan it around when I am working that particular Holiday. So we either eat in the afternoon so I can sleep before I have to go to work that night or we eat in the evening so I can sleep a bit after coming home from working the Eve of the Holiday.
    And by the way, when you work night shift ,the Holiday that you get paid the time and a half for is the EVE of the Holiday and NOT the Holiday night.
    I do get paid time and a half for each Holiday Eve that I work and I also get an additional paid Holiday time day off. So I am compensated quite nicely for having to work Holidays. I have been told though that because I get paid a generous Hourly wage that it is worth my time working Holidays in comparasion to those that get paid minimum wage.!! Imagine that!! What difference does it make WHAT your hourly wage is!!

    Now my youngest son and his girl friend both work at Target and have had to go into work on Thanksgiving Day. They work from 3am - 11am. They have had to do this BEFORE Target decided to open it's doors for customers on the Holiday itself because they do the stocking for Black Friday sales. They do NOT complain about it but look at it as a day that they get paid Time and a Half. They WANT to make more money because they both are grateful to be working and to have the opportunity to earn a decent wage. And they do get paid a decent wage at Target with a $1.50 an hour differential for working over night .

    When my husband first start working as a Letter Carrier for the Post Office , he had to go in and work 3-4 hours on Christmas Day morning , delivering last minute packages. He enjoying seeing the surprise and delight in the people's faces when they opened the door to receive a present from a far away loved one especially if it was for a child!

    It seems to me that the people who complain about working Holidays are the ones that do not actually have to work the Holiday or NEVER had to and now they are in the realty shock that they have to.
    BUT you do what you have to do .......
    So to those people complaining about it...

    I say ...
    GET OVER IT!!!

    Because how would they like it if Hospital, fire houses, police stations all closed because it is a HOLIDAY!!!

    Thanks so much Sarah for letting me vent and for posting this terrific post. I will be sharing it on Face book and Google =!!

    Hugs to you , my friend,

    1. Amen and amen! :) Every now and then I like to blow up my blog in a crazy rant and yesterday I'd just had it! Ha! :) Glad I didn't scare EVERYONE off! Blessings to you for all you do .... and hope you have a wonderful holiday season---celebrating in a way that is just perfect for you and your family!

  5. Last year when I ran into CVS to buy medicine on Christmas day I asked the cashier what his favorite candy bar was and bought it for him with my transaction. I'd like to think he felt appreciated. I've often thought about buying some hot chocolate and taking it into a store opened on Christmas but have never got around to it. Maybe this year though.

  6. Years ago, I used to work at a restaurant that did a Sunday brunch that was very popular with the afterchurch crowd. Without fail, every week, at least one server would get some variation of 'you know, you really shouldn't work on Sundays' speech, as if it were the server's fault that that particular shift was so busy that we all had to work it as a condition of employment. If you dislike people working on Sundays - don't patronize businesses on Sundays. If you do, say thank you and stop blaming the worker for being there to take care of you! Thank you for posting this!

  7. As someone who is working 5 pm this Thanksgiving I would like to say that I couldn't disagree more with this post. As much as I need the income I would much rather be
    home with my family on Thanksgiving then have the money given the choice. Last Thanksgiving I worked but my store didn't open until 8 pm. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything because my children go to bed at 8:30 pm. This year I have to be to work 3 hours earlier. I can't even travel an hour away to dinner. With dinner at 2, I will have to grab pumpkin pie and eat it on the drive to work. I really think it's sad that as a society we can't put consumerism aside for one day to let people be with their families. We're not talking about medicine from a pharmacy or butter. We're talking about people that can't wait 12 more hours before they plow other people down for the most popular toys or $20 boots. Seriously! Instead of thinking you're doing them a favor, let's be honest. They probably would rather be home the same as you. Also, parents with teens who work retail would rather have their children home with them. They would rather not have to leave children home alone that have to work while the rest of the family travels to Thanksgiving. This happens.

    1. Jennine, I understand where you are coming from. If people did not shop that early, stores would not be open this early.

  8. I love this post. So many people rush to judge instead of stopping to think. You made some terrific points, and I would add...how about those people who are lonely? What if they had no where to go to ease that...perhaps they eat at a restaurant because they want some company. Perhaps they want to work to ease that feeling of no one there this year. Perhaps they are grateful to step in to a warm place on Christmas because they have no where to go. There are so many other side of the coins on this one. Maybe for Christmas season, we should all have compassionate hearts as a gift to those around us. Yeah, I'm passionate about this one, too. Love you!


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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